Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) yesterday accused President Bush of dismantling decades of environmental protection by opening his administration to corporate polluters and embracing an energy policy that will lead to more pollution.

Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Kerry scoffed at Bush's effort to offer a more environmentally friendly face by supporting research for a new hydrogen-powered automobile and pushing programs with names such as "healthy forests" and "clear skies."

"The fact is that, while President Bush may have all the right rhetoric, he has all the wrong policies," Kerry said in the prepared text of the speech, which was made available in Washington.

Kerry, a Democratic presidential candidate, called Bush's air pollution plan "a step backwards" and dismissed the administration's policy on cleaning up toxic waste sites as one that gives the polluters a break. He ridiculed the administration's contention that its energy policy is balanced, saying, "It is balanced like the books at Enron or WorldCom."

The president's energy plan calls for additional exploration and production, but Kerry said that path would leave the country more dependent on oil from an unstable Middle East.

"When 65 percent of the world's oil supply is in the [Persian] Gulf and only 3 percent in America, we cannot drill our way to self-sufficiency," Kerry said, according to the text.

He urged changes in tax policy designed to "end the federal largess to polluting fuels," a program to make automobiles and SUVs more energy-efficient and significant investment in new technologies and alternative energy sources.

-- Dan Balz